from The Maiden Family of Virginia and Allied Families by Sarah Finch Maiden Rollins
John Stewart, third son of Lydia (Harrison?) and Samuel Stewart, was born about 1735 in Sussex County, Delaware. He married a young widow, Susanna (Fulkerson) Bledsoe ca. 1760 in Rowan County, North Carolina
During his adult life John Stewart was a pioneer wherever he went. When John Stewart was a little boy about seven years old, his family moved away from Sussex-on-the-Delaware. The family settled near Linville Creek in Augusta County, Virginia, a section that would become part of newly formed Rockingham County, thirty-five years later. This is where John grew up, in an area of the Shenandoah Valley where others from Sussex County, Delaware, lived too. When John was 18 the family left the Shenandoah Valley and moved to Rowan County, North Carolina, where about 1760 John married.
Between 1775 and 1778 John moved his family west across the Blue Ridge Mountains to a branch of the Holston River in Washington County, North Carolina the section that became part of new Sullivan County, in 1779. John Stewart was in his early forties at that time and had covered a lot of territory
The first reference to John Stewart on a document is when he was listed as the surveyor's chain-carrier when his father, Samuel Stewart, had his 508 acre tract of North Carolina land surveyed on the Yadkin River on 24 May 1754.
Most of John's brothers would locate in this general area west of the Wachovia Tract of the Moravians and near the Yadkin River in the western part of present-day Forsyth County...
Soon after 1756, when he was twenty-one John Stewart settled in "The Hollow" [Surry County, North Carolina], although there is no official record of his owning land. In the years 1757 through May 1759 traces of Indians had been seen beyond The Hollow and there was anger and fear in all the land. In the first months of 1759 there was a great lack of food for a hundred miles around, and Indians were murdering whites in the neighborhood. In the summer of 1759 a typhus fever epidemic killed many throughout North Carolina and Virginia.
John would find his future wife, Susanna (Fulkerson) Bledsoe, in "The Hollow." Susanna's father was Frederick Fulkerson and her mother is thought to be Anna Middlesworth. In her teens (about 1755), Susanna married Thomas Bledsoe, a widower with nearly grown children. One son, Loving Bledsoe, was born to Susanna and Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas died in 1758.
On 8 October 1759 Frederick Fulkerson conveyed to his young widowed daughter, Susanna Bledsoe, for the nominal consideration of five shillings, 500 acres lying on the east side of the middle fork of the Ararat River.
On the Rowan County, Tax List of 1759 John Stewart's name is listed, as are Samuel Stewart and David Stewart. About 1760 John Stewart and the widowed Susanna Fulkerson Bledsoe married.
Their children were:
1. David Stewart: b. ca. 1761 and
2. William Stewart"
"The Hollow," which had the heaviest settlement in Rowan County, was where John and Susanna started married life. This would be where their first child, David, was born about 1761. Susanna's son by her first marriage, Loving Bledsoe, was about six years old. It is likely that John and Susanna went to Halifax County, Virginia, approximately the time when her father, Frederick Fulkerson, did. In 1761 Susanna's father was buying land in Halifax County, . John and Susanna, with Loving and David, probably moved to Halifax County, Virginia, in late 1761 or early 1762. However, John and Susanna would not stay on in Halifax County, as Frederick Fulkerson did.
Many of the settlers constantly moved up and down and east and west on the North Carolina and Virginia border east of the Blue Ridge, buying and selling land.
"Earlier in 1764 John and Susanna had moved back to North Carolina. Less than two years later John and Susanna sold the rest of the Rowan County, 500-acre tract her father had conveyed to her when she was a widow. After 1765 there is no further land record for John and Susanna Stewart in Rowan County, North Carolina, but it is most likely they lived on some of Frederick Fulkerson's Rowan/Surry County, land, inasmuch as Frederick was in Halifax County, VA, until 1772. John's parents had died - Samuel Stewart in late 1768, and John's mother Lydia in late 1772."
If John and Susanna were living on some of her father's Surry county land, it just may have been given to them by him. Interestingly enough, there is the reference to "Susannah Stuart, a 1771 heiress." John and Susanna stayed on in Surry County, a few more years.
Sometime between 1775 and 1778 John Stewart took his family over the "big, blue mountain" to live in Washington District, North Carolina. One route John Stewart could have used was the route Daniel Boone used in 1769 when heading for Moccasin Gap in the Clinch Mountains to enter what is now Kentucky but was then still Virginia. Leaving from the head of the Yadkin River, the Stewart family could have taken their course westwardly crossing the Blue Ridge to the three forks of New River, then over Stone Mountain, next over Iron Mountain into the Holston River valley until arriving on a stream south of Long Island which is present Kingsport area.
In the 1770s many people were flowing into this area. Among them, partially as a result of the Regulator movement in Surry County, there was an exodus (that included a great number of Baptists) to the new frontiers in present-day Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. It may have been that the Presbyterian Stewarts had become Baptists on the frontier, but as usual, seeking new land in new places was the prime reason for moving. Those who went west found homes where they believed they were beyond the boundary of North Carolina and were in Virginia, but actually for several years both colonies claimed the northeastern part of the present state of Tennessee.
When John's youngest son, our William, volunteered for military service in 1779 during the American Revolution, he was just over sixteen. John's son David and stepson, Loving Bledsoe had already volunteered.
Records show that John Stewart was on land in Sullivan County, (then North Carolina) on 10 July 1788 and had sold some land there by 17 November 1790. Whether John retained other land there is not known. There is no help from the federal census. The first census was taken in 1790, in which Tennessee was still included in the Salisbury District of North Carolina.
Evidence suggests that by about 1800 John Stewart had crossed from Sullivan County, just over the state line into Russell (now Scott) County, Virginia, where his son William lived, and where he would be closer to son David and stepson Loving too. On 22 May 1802 John Stewart was received "`by experience and baptism" into the Stony Creek Primitive Baptist Church that son William and his family belonged to. John was sixty-seven years old. It was here that John probably died. The date of death of John's wife, Susanna, is not known. Evidence suggests she had died by April 1782